Following week two’s action, nine NFL clubs remain without a victory. Oddly, the list contains quite a few “good” teams and not the usual suspects.
Yup, Oakland, Cleveland, Tennessee, Tampa Bay and Jacksonville have all notched a win, while the Seahawks, Colts, Lions, Ravens and Eagles sit sadly at (0-2).
Only 12% of teams that start out oh-and-two wind up sneaking into the playoffs, so statistically at least a couple of these postseason shoe-ins will be wearing dunce caps by Week 17.
Which fan-bases of winless teams need to worry most? Who’s still in the hunt and who can already start smelling that #1 draft pick?
Of NFL’s winless teams, three have > 50% chance to make playoffs according to FPI: Seahawks 54% Eagles 54% Colts 51%
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 22, 2015
Chicago Bears: Seriously, who do these guys got other than Alshon Jeffery and Matt Forte? Jay Cutler? Umm…yeah. There’s no way Chicago crawls back to .500 in the tough NFC North.
New Orleans Saints: The magic of the Superdome has vanished. Brees could miss several weeks with a shoulder injury and as blasphemous as it might sound, I do believe Drew’s best days are behind him. Could be a rough ride in New Orleans.
Houston Texans: The only saving grace for JJ Watt and co. is the fact that Indy is on this (0-2) list, too. But they’ll need to hope the Colts’ troubles are for real and maybe squeak out a division title. I don’t see this offense winning any more than 9 games.
New York Giants: Only Oakland has given up more yards. This is a more worrisome snippet of info than the fact the G-Men blew a 10-point, fourth-quarter lead, twice.
Detroit Lions: Matthew Stafford appears to be regressing and the loss of Suh has made a noticeable impact on the Lions’ defense. Both of their losses were on the road, so this is a plus, but unless the offense starts clicking soon and Detroit pulls off at least one win out of the upcoming gauntlet of Seattle, Denver and Arizona, the future doesn’t look bright in the Motor City.
Philadelphia Eagles: Chip Kelly is in the hot-seat. Big time. Thus far, his old QB, Nick Foles, has more wins than Sam Bradford and Murray ran for a whopping 2 yards on 13 carries against his old team, while McCoy has piled up over 200 total yards in two games with a pulled hamstring. With Romo and Dez out indefinitely there’s still plenty of time for Philly to rebound and take the NFC East, but so far nothing has gone to plan on the offensive side of the ball.
Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens are (0-2) for the first time ever under John Harbaugh and the leader of their defense, Terrell Suggs, is out for the season. With both Cincinnati and Pittsburgh looking good in the AFC North, Ravens fans are correct to be worried. Particularly after hemorrhaging 37 points to the Raiders.
Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck has been a turnover machine and – catch this – Indy has the least points scored in the entire NFL. So much for Frank Gore and Andre Johnson converting the Colts into true offensive juggernauts. The good news is that Indianapolis plays in a weak division, a division in which Luck is an incredible (16-2) playing against all time. The bad news is that the Colts really do look legitimately bad. Forget that they played in the AFC title game last January – they don’t look like a good team right now.
Tossed 3 INTs. Fumbled it away. For the 2nd week in a row… Things did not go as planned for Andrew Luck. http://t.co/V6osSuyWT8
— NFL (@NFL) September 22, 2015
Seattle Seahawks: Aaron Rodgers exacted his revenge on Sunday Night Football for last year’s wild NFC Championship finish that left the Packers reeling and sent Seattle to the Super Bowl. If Aaron were to offer advice to Hawks fans, this would be it, “R E L A X”.
Tasty Tidbits from Week 2
The New York Jets, a team not many gave much of a shot in the very talented AFC East is (2-0) and looking incredibly tough on defense after they dismantled the Colts at Lucas Oil Field in Indianapolis on Monday Night Football.
For the second straight week Darrelle Revis showed why most consider him to be the unequivocal “best corner in the game”.
— ESPN Monday Night (@ESPNMondayNight) September 22, 2015
This defense might just be good enough to carry New York to the postseason, particularly if Chris Ivory stays healthy and continues to find holes and rack up yardage on the ground.
The Jets, along with the Atlanta Falcons, have surprised many with their red-hot start.
Jameis Winston bounced back after being outmatched by Marcus Mariota in week one by tossing one touchdown and running for another. His 14 of 21 for 207 yards are hardly Pro Bowl numbers, but they were good enough for his first NFL win, something that’s always tough to do on the road.
Offensive Player of the Week
Love him or hate him, Tom Brady has a chip on his shoulder entering his 16th season in the NFL and you’re gonna regret not drafting him for your fantasy team.
Sunday afternoon, on the road, against a stout Bills defense, Brady launched the second-highest yardage total of his career with 466 yards and 3 touchdowns to win 40-32.
It appears as though another Lombardi Trophy won’t be good enough – he’d like the MVP, too.
Tom Brady leads the league in completions, yards, and touchdowns. #decline
— Michael Hurley (@michaelFhurley) September 22, 2015
Defensive Player of the Week
Revis Island is back in full force and he’s looking to be worth every penny of that $70 million.
He made 2 fumble recoveries and 1 interception against the Colts.
Team on the Rise
People love to poke fun at the Red Rocket, but face it, Andy Dalton puts up big numbers (and wins) in the regular season. After two weeks Dalton has tossed 5 TDs without a single pick and close to 500 yards.
All this with a killer defense and the league´s #5 rusher in Giovani Bernard.
I can’t wait to see how the Bengals fare against the Steelers in Pittsburgh in week 8 after their bye.
Thus far Cincy has emerged as the favorite in a division featuring three quality clubs.
Team on the Decline
Good lord, so many “good” choices to choose from here. We’ve got more teams underachieving in the early going of 2015 than potheads flunking out of high school.
So let’s roll with the Colts for floundering in such emphatic fashion.
You can’t help but wonder if people are getting a wee bit ahead of themselves in predicting Andrew Luck will one day be the greatest quarterback to ever play the game.
You can’t be the G.O.A.T. averaging 3 turnovers a game.
That’s not 3 for the Colts. That’s 3 just for Andrew Luck. He’s leading the league with 28 total turnovers over the last year.
Perhaps he should spend a little less time making Direct TV commercials:
Just in Case You Missed It
- Johnny Manziel tossed another long TD to Travis Benjamin in a Browns win.
- Jarryd Hayne got a pair of touches at running back for the Niners but was only able to gain 3 total yards against the Steelers.
- Tony Romo broke his collarbone and here is how Dallas dealt with the situation:
— NESN (@NESN) September 22, 2015
Games to Look Forward to in Week 3
Bengals at Ravens– Baltimore faces a must-win scenario in just the third week of the season against a red-hot division rival at home.
Bills at Dolphins –Buffalo nearly pulled off a huge 4th-quarter comeback against the Patriots last weekend and for my dollar this is a team worth putting on the “must see” list every single week. Even if you hate Coach Ryan’s guts to the core, you’ve got to admit shit gets entertaining when Rex gets involved. Both the Bills (1-1) and Dolphins (1-1) harbor hopes of dethroning New England in the AFC East. Winning this bout is the next step toward that goal.
Chiefs at Packers –Kansas City dropped a tough loss at home to the Broncos and are now in a tight spot needing to win where Aaron Rodgers simply doesn’t lose. Justin Houston has 3 sacks in 2015 and he’ll need more if the Chiefs hope to win this one.